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Dismounted Soldier See-through HD Display with Wireless Interface


OBJECTIVE: Design, integrate and build prototype see-through head borne Dismounted Soldier Display capable of wirelessly receiving and displaying high definition video and situational awareness information, utilizing state of the art display technologies. DESCRIPTION: Commercial and military products are available and emerging that include some of the capabilities, but none that address all three key areas of this proposal simultaneously wireless receipt of a video source, high definition video display, and a see-through display. Advances in commercial smart phones combined with results from research into two areas - micro-displays and wireless video transmission - are rapidly enabling a low cost, common input wireless wearable display. Current military fielded systems require a Soldier to either interrupt their current actions by looking at a handheld device, or by raising their weapon to look through a device taking up valuable time, and potentially causing an escalation of force. Both are undesirable actions, increasing workload and creating hostile situations. A common input wireless display for dismounted Soldier applications would be a capability enabler. It would allow the presentation of Mission Command information such as situational awareness queuing, tactical maps, or sensor imagery. Additionally, video from other Soldier mounted sensors such as weapon sights, handheld targeting systems and sensor data from Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) could be displayed. Wireless transmission of this video is important, for remote video sources, and for human factors considerations - as tethered solutions limit mobility, and create snag hazards. As more capability gaps are addressed, more equipment will be available for the Soldier to utilize, so much so that information overload can occur. A display with common input can allow the Soldier to switch inputs quickly, without having to switch between systems in their hands. There has been considerable research into Heads-Up Display (HUD) technology spanning decades which has been primarily in the aviation community. Within the aviation community, HUD devices are either fixed-frame or helmet mounted. Relevant fielded systems to the Soldier include NAVAID, AN/AVS-7(V), Land Warrior, Nett Warrior, and accessory devices, such as the HTWS Head mounted display (HMD). These systems provide different capabilities, such as navigational assistance, piloting information, map display, and sensor data in various look up, see-through, and occluded configurations. Accessory displays, such as the Tac-Eye or Red-I are available for military equipment. Relevant commercial systems include a multitude of portable multimedia players integrated into eyewear allowing for discreet, occluded, wired viewing of video with various display resolutions. These however are wired solutions, and require physically unplugging and changing inputs to the system. Recently products have come onto the commercial market such as low resolution GPS enabled ski goggles, capable of displaying performance statistics, but not video, in a look down configuration. Combining these capabilities and Point of View (POV) sports cameras, exist products such as the Recon Jet a glasses mounted, look down occluded display, capable of displaying video. Other products include Google Glass - marketed as a smart phone accessory, in a look-up, transparent, configuration, able to display video from a nearby smart phone. A wireless, high-definition, see-through display would be a capability enabler providing a platform for weapon mounted sensors to stream video, UAS data, mapping, and navigation, situational awareness queuing, such as targeting, gunshot detection, and Rapid Target Acquisition (RTA). In the far future, a common display platform could de-couple the requirement for every system used by the Soldier to include a display potentially reducing costs across systems. Similar to how modern televisions functions, a Soldier would need to simply change the input to their common display. PHASE I: Develop a detailed design of proposed Dismount Soldier Display with Wireless input (DSDW). Perform a tradeoff study of candidate configurations (including the specific see-through display technology) and components, and identify the best solution in terms of SWaP and performance. The final report shall also provide an estimate of the display"s cost, size, weight, and power consumption. Innovative mounting techniques to eyewear or the helmet is encouraged. Requirements include the following: 1. DSDW shall be compatible with modern military communications helmets, such as the Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH) or Enhanced Combat Helmet (ECH). 2. DSDW shall be compatible with protective masks, such as the Joint Service General Purpose Mask (JSGPM) or similar. 3. DSDW shall be compatible with the Ballistic Laser Protective Spectacles (BLPS) [MIL-PRF-44366B], Spectacles Special Protective Eyewear Cylindrical System (SPECS) [MIL-PRF-31013] and items from the Authorized Protective Eyewear List (APEL) [PEO Soldier APEL]. 4. DSDW shall not impede the use of PVS7 Night Vision Goggles (NVG), PVS14 NVG or PSQ20 Enhanced Night Vision Goggle (ENVG), and be able to be worn simultaneously with a pair of NVGs. 5. The wireless video protocol and interface will be determined as part of this effort. 6. Source video will be digital only. 7. The DSDW shall not exceed 0.5lb (threshold), 0.1 lb (objective) including batteries. 8. DSDW should be able to support an 8 hour mission without a battery change. 9. Batteries shall be easily replaced, and commercial batteries are preferred. 10. DSDW shall have the capability to be used by both, or either eye. 11. Latency between source video and displayed video shall be 1 frame maximum. 12. DSDW shall be functional in both day and night missions. 13. DSDW shall have variable display brightness to allow viewing in ambient illumination conditions from bright sunshine to total darkness without degrading system performance. 14. Display resolution shall be 1920H x 1080V pixels minimum. 15. Display frame rate shall be 30Hz (capable of 60Hz and greater desired) 16. DSDW shall be capable of displaying full color video. 17. Bandwidth required to support HD video is in excess of 186MB per/sec. 18. Exit Pupil shall be greater than 18mm. 19. Eye Relief shall be compatible with protective eyewear from Requirement 3. 20. DSDW must not emit noise that is detectable in any direction within five meters. (Audio security) 21. DSDW must not emit light in low light conditions that is detectable by another user within five meters, or there must be an acceptable approach for light security. 22. Distance from transmitter to DSDW shall not exceed 3 meters. PHASE II: Finalize design configurations and interfaces with Critical Design Review, and integrate wireless display prototypes (2 minimum) for Soldier demonstration and evaluation. Information and design approaches from the SBIR effort(s) will support Army Research and Development of a Common Wireless Display for Dismounted Soldier applications. PHASE III: Wireless interface for display of high resolution video and sensor information has multiple military, law enforcement, and civilian applications for example, as accessories to mobile smart phones as augmented reality displays, for sporting related activities to display performance information, and as replacements or accessories for laptop, tablet and computer displays, video gaming, and for wireless home video transmission.
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